First Amendment News

Jan. 6 committee urges quick release of White House files

The House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection argued before the D.C. Circuit appeals court that they need White House records to safeguard future elections and stem the growth of executive power. (Politico, November 22, 2021, by Kyle Cheney) The court gave former President Donald Trump a respite by temporarily blocking the National Archives from releasing White House records to the committee. The committee said any further delay could have long-term repercussions for their quest

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Murdoch warns Trump on big lie

News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch chastised former President Donald Trump for pounding the lie that he won the 2021 election. “The current American political debate is profound, whether about education or welfare or economic opportunity. It is crucial that conservatives play an active, forceful role in that debate, but that will not happen if President Trump stays focused on the past. The past is the past, and the country is now in a contest to define

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Biden and Xi ease tensions with agreement on journalists

China and the U.S. agreed to ease restrictions on journalists working in the two countries after a confrontation during the Trump administration that resulted in the expulsion of U.S. reporters. (The New York Times, November 16, 2021,by Michael D. Shear) The U.S. will issue on-year multiple-entry visas to Chinese journalists and address duration of status issues, and China will grant equal treatment to U.S. journalists. Both sides also agreed to issue media visas for new

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Conspiracy theorist defaults in Sandy Hook defamation lawsuit

A Connecticut judge ruled that conservative Infowars host Alex Jones was liable for damages in defamation lawsuits brought by the families of children murdered in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting that Jones claimed was a hoax. The judge held that Jones refused to submit documents to the courts, a decision that determined the outcome. Jones will appeal. Jones’ lies about the shooting of 20 first graders and educators inspired his followers to abuse the

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Santa Clara officials’ closed meetings with 49ers in question

As the city of Santa Clara struggles with legal disputes over the operation of the San Francisco 49ers Levi’s Stadium, five of seven council members met scores of times with team executives behind closed doors. Mayor Lisa Gillmor said she asked the members to share information from the meetings with no success,.”I am highly disappointed,” she said, “these elected officials have breached the trust of our community, and are putting special interests before the public

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